Variety in snack servings as determinant for acceptance in school children

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Variety within a meal is known to increase intake. However, intake of certain food items (e.g. vegetables) in children is consistently below recommendations, and increasing the consumption of such food would lead to health benefits. This study investigated how different levels of food variety influence children's acceptance. A total of 132 children, aged from 9 to 11 years, were exposed to vegetables, fruits and nut snacks during mid-morning break at school. Two different sets of stimuli were used in a within subject design: Classical Variety (CV), i.e. serving of different foods and Perceived Variety (PV), i.e. serving of the same food in different shapes. For each set, three levels of variety in the servings were tested: low, medium, and high. Intake and liking were determined for each serving set. ANOVA results showed that intake of CV set decreased according to the level of variety, whereas results of PV set only showed an increase of liking with increasing levels of variety. Adding more variations of products appeared to be less successful on consumption despite changing the liking of the products, may be because consumption is more affected by acceptability and familiarity for the stimuli than by variety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-635
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 151328057